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Insights 2002 Fall

Insights 2002 Fall

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Published by: austinseminary on Feb 20, 2009
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07/20/2014

 
Insights
The Faculty Journal of Austin Seminary 
T
OLERANCE
 J
INKINS
S
UNQUIST
H
 ARDY 
T
 ANNER 
H
 ALVERSTADT
S
TAIRS
F
OOTE
D
EARMAN
M
URCHISON
FALL 2002
 
Contents
2
I
NTRODUCTION
Robert M. Shelton
TOLERANCE
3I
S
T
OLERANCE
C
HRISTIAN
IRTUE
?
 Michael Jinkins 
13M
ICHAEL
 J
INKINS
: T
OLERATIONAS
S
TARTING
P
OINT
 An Interview 
17
EFLECTIONS
Scott W. Sunquist, Henry Hardy, Kathryn Tanner,Hugh Halverstadt, Jean Stairs 
33D
IVERSITYANDTHE
G
IFTOF
G
RACE
Theodore V. Foote 
39
B
OOK
R
EVIEWS
T
HE
 W 
RATHOF
 J
ONAH
: T
HE
C
RISISOF
ELIGIOUS
N
 ATIONALISMINTHE
I
SRAELI
-P
 ALESTINIAN
C
ONFLICT
, written by Rosemary Radford Ruether andHerman J. Ruether,
reviewed by J. Andrew Dearman
41
C
HRISTIANITY AND
C
ULTURE
 A N
EW 
ESOURCEFOR 
I
NTERFAITH
M
 ARRIAGES
 Martha Murchison
Insights
The Faculty Journal of Austin Seminary 
Fall 2002
Volume 118Number 1
Editor:
Michael Jinkins
Editorial Board:
Scott Black Johnston, Timothy Kubatzky,Michael Miller, and Randal Whittington
Insights:The Faculty Journal of Austin Seminary 
is published each spring and fall by AustinPresbyterian Theological Seminary, 100 East 27th Street, Austin, TX 78705-5797.e-mail: mjinkins@austinseminary.eduweb site: www.austinseminary.edu
Entered as non-profit class bulk mail at Austin, Texas, under Permit No. 2473. POSTMASTER:Addressservice requested. Send to
Insights 
, 100 East 27th Street, Austin, TX 78705-5797.Printing runs are limited. When available, additional copies may be obtained for $1 per copy. Permission tocopy articles from
Insights: The Faculty Journal of Austin Seminary 
for educational purposes will be given by the editor upon receipt of a written request.Some previous issues of 
Insights: The Faculty Journal of Austin Seminary,
are available on microfilm throughUniversity Microfilms International, 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106 (16 mm microfilm, 105mm microfiche, and article copies are available).
Insights 
is indexed in
Religion Index One: Periodicals, Index to Book Reviews in Religion, Religion Indexes: RIO/RIT/IBRR 1975- on CD-ROM,
and the
 ATLA ReligionDatabase on CD-ROM 
, published by the American Theological Library Association, 250 S. Wacker Dr., Suite1600, Chicago, IL 60606-5384; telephone: (312) 454-5100; e-mail: atla@atla.com; web site: www.atla.com;ISSN1056-0548.
COVER:
“Christ of St. John of the Cross” (1951) Salvador Dali, in the collection of Glasgow Museums: The St Mungo Museum of Religious Life & Art. Reprinted with permission.
The inspiration for Dali’s “Christ of St. John of the Cross” lay in what Dali described as “a cosmic dream” in which he saw Christ as the “nucleus of the atom,” that point of unity and energy that holds together and gives creative power to the entire universe. This dream was given specific form when Dali studied a drawing of “Christ on the Cross” by St. John of the Cross, a sixteenth-century Spanish mystic.Dali’s painting portrays the crucified Christ suspended above the world. The crucifixion, grounded ina moment in human history, provides the critical theological reference point by which history can be understood, as though to say that God’s ultimate purpose for the world and the meaning of humanhistory is revealed in this single event. Yet the significance of the event is not clearly discernible on the  plane of the characters at sea level in the painting, except by faith. For Christians, Dali’s vision serves as a powerful reminder of our limited vision, our inability to see clearly the meaning of the whole, and of our indebtedness to God’s grace, a grace we are called to extend to others.
 
3
 A 
N
 A 
NXIOUS
 W 
ORLD
W
e are living, we are dwelling in a grand and awful time,” says the nine-teenth-century hymn by Arthur Cleveland Coxe. While the word “awful”in the hymn actually means “awesome” in today’s parlance, the hymn callsChristians to meet the challenges of a crisis, asking us, “Will ye play, then? Will yedally?” while the whole of creation groans in travail.
3
This heroic hymn is set againstthe backdrop of an anxious world more than a hundred years ago. I see no evidencethat the world is getting any less anxious.
I
S
T
OLERANCE A
C
HRISTIAN
V
IRTUE
?
M
ICHAEL
 J
INKINS
 Michael Jinkins is associate professor of pastoral theology at Austin Seminary and editor of  
Insights
.He earned the D.Min. from Austin Seminary and the Ph.D. in systematic and historical theology  from King’s College at Aberdeen University. Jinkins is the author of eight books, including 
TheChurch Faces Death
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999) and 
Invitation to Theology: A Guideto Study, Conversation, and Practice
(Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2001).
O
ne of the exercises I have long found interesting in any group is that of free wordassociations. The exercise goes like this: you ask each individual to respond withthe first thing that comes to mind when a particular word is mentioned. You resist allattempts to define the word; instead you simply respond with another word or somethought or scene or person. I have often found exploring the responses to be more pro-ductive and useful than striving to discuss the definitions of the words themselves. At a minimum, the articles in this issue of 
Insights 
present you with a number of  words which are very much front-and-center in our present lives: tolerance, intolerance,interfaith, multiculturalism, pluralism, grace, relativism, fundamentalism, respect, cul-ture. They are all words to which your honest response is very important.Beyond the minimum, the articles offer reflections—and at times genuine strug-gling—with these words which are so descriptive of our times. For example, in the leadarticle, “Is Tolerance a Christian Virtue?” Professor Michael Jinkins asks what is com-mendable and what is wanting in the term. Needless to say, the “yes” and “no” to hisown question are useful and thought provoking. The subsequent interview and relatedarticles follow something of the same pattern, probing what is at stake theologically andsocially with respect to diversity, grace, religious pluralism, fundamentalism.Is the final thought about any of these words set forth in these articles? Hardly! Butthey may help you with your word-association games. And if we take such games seri-ously (that is, honestly, openly, and communally) we just may be able to move onesmall millimeter nearer to God’s reign in our world.Robert M. Shelton
President 
I
NTRODUCTION
2
To tolerate all things, and to tolerate nothing … both are intolerable: but ’tisSatan’s policy to plead for an indefinite and boundless toleration.
Thomas Shepard (1672)
1
“Toleration has failed to capture the popular imagination because it is not a pas-sion: the reluctant acceptance of a burden, putting up with what one cannotavoid, is not exciting enough. Nor has education been of much help…. Theeducated have as poor a record for tolerance as the ignorant, because it is as easy to be infected by intolerance as by the common cold…. However, this does notmean that humanity is powerless…. The taste for toleration has deep roots, butit is not necessarily from one’s ancestors that one acquires it.”
Theodore Zeldin (1994)
 2 

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